Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Anna Windle

(Satellite Mission Post-Doctoral Fellow)

Anna Windle's Contact Card & Information.
Org Code: 616
Mail Code 616
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Anna Windle is an early career scientist, working as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in support of the NASA Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite mission. She received her Ph.D. in Marine, Estuarine, Environmental Sciences at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) at Horn Point Lab in Cambridge, MD in 2023. Her dissertation focused on incorporating in situ, unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS, drones) and earth observing satellites to enhance environmental remote sensing in Chesapeake Bay. She has expertise in satellite and UAS remote sensing, ocean color, and optical oceanography.

She received a Master's of Environmental Management (M.E.M.) from Duke University in 2018 and a B.S. in Environmental Sciences from Washington College in 2016.

Anna is passionate about education and outreach and has worked with K-12 teachers to develop environmental education lesson plans and has run drone mapping workshops for local students.

Current Projects

PACE Phytoplankton Community Composition

My research focuses on processing and evaluating existing satellite and field data with the goal of developing and improving satellite methods for derivation of metrics related to phytoplankton community composition and particle size distributions.


Satellite Mission Post-Doctoral Fellow

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. - Goddard Space Flight Center

June 2023 - Present

Graduate Research Assistant

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science - Cambridge, MD

August 2018 - May 2023

Community Outreach Coordinator

Duke University Marine Lab - Beaufort, NC

2017 - 2018

Graduate Research Assistant

Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab, Duke Marine Lab - Beaufort, NC

2016 - 2018

Teaching Experience

  • Teaching Assistant, MEES621: Biological Oceanography, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Spring 2023.
  • Guest Lecturer, ENV311: Field Methods, Washington College. 2019, 2020, 2021


Ph.D., Marine Estuarine Environmental Science, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), Horn Point Laboratory, Cambridge, MD, August 2018 - May 2023. Dissertation: Incorporating unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS) and earth observing satellites to enhance satellite remote sensing of Chesapeake Bay. Advisor: Dr. Greg Silsbe

M.E.M., Environmental Management, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, Durham, NC & Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, NC, August 2016 - May 2018. Master's Project: The use of autonomous terrestrial rovers for high resolution light pollution sampling in beach environments. Advisor: Dr. David Johnston

B.S., Environmental Science. Washington College, Chestertown, MD, August 2012 - May 2016.

Selected training courses:

  • NASA Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) training course. University of Maryland Baltimore County, MD. August 2022.
  • International Ocean Color Coordinating Group (IOCCG) Summer Lecture Series. Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV), Institut de la Mer, de Villefranche, France. July 2022.
  • NASA sponsored Workshop on Calibration and Validation of Ocean Color Remote Sensing. Bowdoin College, Schiller Coastal Studies Center (SCSC), Orr’s Island, Maine. June - August 2021
  • Cornell Satellite Remote Sensing Training Program. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. June 2019.

Professional Societies

The Oceanography Society (TOS)

2020 - Present

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

2019 - Present

Society for Women in Marine Science (SWMS)

2018 - Present


  • University of Maryland Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship ($15,000)- 2022
  • University of Maryland Outstanding Graduate Student Distinguished Service Award- 2021
  • UMD MEES Debbie Morrin-Nordlund Memorial Award ($2,500)- 2021 
  • American Association of University Women Easton Branch Scholarship ($1,000)- 2021
  • Mid-Shore Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America Scholarship ($2,000)- 2021
  • Horn Point Lab Ryan Saba Memorial Student Fellowship ($2,000)- 2021
  • Horn Point Graduate Assistantship- 2018


Exploration and Field Research ($1,500) - Explorer's Club Washington Group - Awarded: 2021-01-01

Dates:  - 

Graduate Research Support Grant ($10,000) - Maryland Sea Grant - Awarded: 2020-02-01

Dates:  - 

Environmental Education Mini Grant ($5,000) - Chesapeake Bay Trust - Awarded: 2019-09-01

Dates:  - 

Graduate Research Fellowship ($10,000) - North Carolina Sea Grant/ Space Grant - Awarded: 2017-10-01

Dates:  - 



2024. "Evidence for Kilometer‐Scale Biophysical Features at the Gulf Stream Front." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 129 (3): [10.1029/2023jc020526] [Journal Article/Letter]

2024. "Enhancing Georeferencing and Mosaicking Techniques over Water Surfaces with High-Resolution Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Imagery." Remote Sensing 16 (2): 290 [10.3390/rs16020290] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Building an inclusive wave in marine science: Sense of belonging and Society for Women in Marine Science symposia." Progress in Oceanography 218 103110 [10.1016/j.pocean.2023.103110] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Multi-temporal high-resolution marsh vegetation mapping using unoccupied aircraft system remote sensing and machine learning." Frontiers in Remote Sensing 4 [10.3389/frsen.2023.1140999] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Robust ocean color from drones: Viewing geometry, sky reflection removal, uncertainty analysis, and a survey of the Gulf Stream front." Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 20 (10): 656-673 [10.1002/lom3.10511] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Estimation of Intertidal Oyster Reef Density Using Spectral and Structural Characteristics Derived from Unoccupied Aircraft Systems and Structure from Motion Photogrammetry." Remote Sensing 14 (9): 2163 [10.3390/rs14092163] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Evaluating Atmospheric Correction Algorithms Applied to OLCI Sentinel-3 Data of Chesapeake Bay Waters." Remote Sensing 14 (8): 1881 [10.3390/rs14081881] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Evaluation of Unoccupied Aircraft System (UAS) Remote Sensing Reflectance Retrievals for Water Quality Monitoring in Coastal Waters." Frontiers in Environmental Science 9 [10.3389/fenvs.2021.674247] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Deep learning for coastal resource conservation: automating detection of shellfish reefs." Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 6 (4): 431-440 [10.1002/rse2.134] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Rapid and Accurate Monitoring of Intertidal Oyster Reef Habitat Using Unoccupied Aircraft Systems and Structure from Motion." Remote Sensing 11 (20): 2394 [10.3390/rs11202394] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Robotic Vehicles Enable High-Resolution Light Pollution Sampling of Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches." Frontiers in Marine Science 5 [10.3389/fmars.2018.00493] [Journal Article/Letter]

Talks, Presentations and Posters


Incorporating unoccupied aircraft systems (UAS) and earth observing satellites to enhance environmental remote sensing of coastal waters.

November 2023

Duke University Marine Lab. Beaufort, NC.

Send in the Drones: A New Tool for Water Quality Monitoring

October 2020

Virginia Institute of Marine Science Physical-Biological Departmental Seminar Series

Eyes in the Sky: How drones can be used to monitor water quality in Chesapeake Bay

October 2020

She Maps EduDrone Online Drone Conference

Sea turtles dig the dark: The use of drones to monitor light pollution on NC beaches

August 2018

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC.


A simulated PACE dataset to evaluate optical closure and phytoplankton community composition algorithms

December 2023

Poster presented at the International Ocean Color Science Meeting, St. Petersburg, FL.

Optical water type classification of Chesapeake Bay


Oral presentation at the Chesapeake Community Research Symposium, Annapolis, MD.

Evaluation of unoccupied aircraft system (UAS) remote sensing reflectance retrievals for water quality monitoring in coastal waters


Oral presentation at the virtual Ocean Sciences Meeting

Structure from Motion photogrammetry: A remote, rapid, and nondestructive method for oyster reef monitoring


Oral presentation at the virtual 26th biennial Coastal, Estuarine, Research Federation conference

Atmospheric correction algorithms portray differences in optical properties of Chesapeake Bay waters


Poster presented at Ocean Sciences Meeting, San Diego, CA.